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Friday, 16 November, 2001, 17:31 GMT
Tolkien film set for big NZ success
Liv Tyler
Liv Tyler stars in the Lord of the Rings film
Lord of the Rings' New Zealand locations are set to give it the edge over Harry Potter in the battle of the children's epics in that country.

New Zealand's cinema operators predict that the The Fellowship of the Ring, will outsell The Philosopher's Stone by two to one.

The film of one of JK Rowling's hugely successful Harry Potter books opens in the country on 29 November, and is projected to take NZ$6.5m (1.9m) at the box office.

JK Rowling
Rowling: Created the books behind the Harry Potter film
The Fellowship of the Ring, based on JRR Tolkien's best-selling novel, will not hit New Zealand screens until one minute past midnight on 20 December.

The film is expected to take at least 13m New Zealand dollars (3.8m) and 400 tickets to the first showing were snapped up in 15 minutes.

Trilogy

One of the reasons that The Fellowship of the Ring is so hotly-tipped is that director Peter Jackson used New Zealand locations to represent the book's mythical setting, Middle Earth.

Peter Jackson
Jackson: Born and raised in New Zealand
The director has completed filming on all three films in the Tolkien trilogy.

Editing of the second, The Two Towers, is due to begin shortly.

The Two Towers will be released in December 2002, with the final film, Return of the King, on screens a year later.

The New Zealand government is hoping that increased tourism will follow in the wake of the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, and is spending 4.5m New Zealand dollars (1.3m) to promote the country as Tolkien's Middle Earth.

See also:

15 May 01 | Film
Cannes preview for Rings
16 Nov 01 | Sci/Tech
Digital effects bring Rings to life
11 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Online fans await Tolkien tale
02 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Hobbit soldiers 'not exploited'
18 Jul 01 | New Media
Lord of the Rings goes mobile
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